Keiichiro Oizumi is set to embark on a three-state lecture tour of Malaysia this May to discuss the socioeconomic challenges accompanying Asia’s fast growth and the measures essential for sustained regional success in the decades ahead. The Japan Research Institute senior economist will first visit University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur on 9 May, before moving on to Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang on 11 May and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak on 12 May.

The event is part of efforts to spark academic interest in cross-cultural cooperation between Asian countries and enhance understanding of the Japanese economy in recent years.

All lectures are delivered in English. Entry is free and open to the public.

Kuala Lumpur
9 May, 2016
1 p.m.–3 p.m.
Lecture Hall B, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of MalayaVenue has changed to: Auditorium, East Asian Studies
Free admission
11 May, 2016
9 a.m.–11.30 a.m.
Main Conference Hall, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Free admission
12 May, 2016
1 p.m.–3 p.m.
Library Auditorium, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Free admission

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Poster (JPG/447 KB)


It is said that the 21st century is and will be the Asian Century. We have seen the region experience an economic growth that is higher than any other place on earth in recent decades. Naturally, we expect such growth to last or continue to increase exponentially. While a promising future is ahead, there exists an undercurrent of unease; tough challenges may derail our ascent. Where has the mega trend pervading Asia taken us, and where will it bring us next?

The lecture attempts to dissect these developments by reviewing clues of our ongoing progress that are found in the past, identifying deep-seated obstacles impeding further growth, and presenting policy options to mitigate them.

The lecture showcases three elements that are the driving force of this mega trend; namely demographic transition, urbanisation, and ICT. They correspond to the three reasons discovered to be behind our current fortunes, which are demographic dividend, mega-regions, and the digital economy. A review of these keywords uncovers a pertinent question: is it possible for Asian countries to maintain their upwards trajectory, or is there truth to concerns that the middle income trap relentlessly deprives us of growth opportunities? The actual problems instead lie beyond the efforts of individual companies to raise their productivity. We have to surmount two “middle income cliffs”— a society whose rapid aging outpaces its achievement of prosperity, as well as the widening gap between mega-cities and the rest of the continent. The final part of the lecture offers a silver lining, as the Oizumi shows the audience how we can tackle these conundrums by promoting digital economy.

About the speaker

JRI_ooizumi_0013Keiichiro Oizumi is an economist, lecturer and award-winning author. His areas of expertise include demographic change and economic growth in Asia, and socioeconomic issues surrounding the urbanisation of the region. Oizumi focuses his research particularly on the economies of ASEAN countries.

His 2007 book Aging in Asia won the Award for the Promotion of Studies on Developing Countries, given by the Institute of Developing Economies. Recognised as a leading subject matter expert, Oizumi serves on a task force established within the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He is also a member of the Japan Association for Asian Studies and the Japanese Society for Thai Studies.

Oizumi received his Master’s degree in Agricultural Science and Ph.D. degree in Area Studies from Kyoto University.


Lecture in Kuala Lumpur
Department of East Asian Studies, University of Malaya
03 7967 5631

Lecture in Penang
School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
04 653 3369

Lecture in Sarawak
Faculty of Social Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
08 258 4158

General information
The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur
03 2284 6228

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